Economic impact will ‘likely be in the billions,’ meteorologist warns

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Filled with heavy snowfall, rapid temperature drops, and high winds, winter bomb cyclones cost a lot. With millions of Americans taking vacation trips, the timing couldn’t be worse.

The economic impact is likely to be in the billions as we talk about travel cancellations and delays. Jonathan Porter, chief meteorologist at AccuWeather, told Yahoo Finance (video above).

More than 100 million Americans in 37 states have been warned of winter storms and cold winds as they prepare for Friday’s “life-threatening” cold snap. The storm has already reached many states, including Illinois and South Dakota, and is affecting other parts of the country. For example, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Wednesday, Porter said the temperature dropped 43 degrees in 30 minutes.

Extreme cold weather is expected in many parts of the United States on Friday. (Image: AccuWeather)

He explained that cold gusts that originated in Siberia and passed through Canada are expected for two weeks, and businesses have been warned of weather conditions that could affect their business operations.

“We had advance notice,” Porter said. “We have weather information. We will see how businesses and different kinds of governments react to it.”

A man clears the driveway from an overnight storm on December 13, 2022 in Provo, Utah.  (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

A man clears the driveway from an overnight storm on December 13, 2022 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

Two main risk areas

A once-in-a-generation storm is becoming a ‘nightmare’ for the travel industry.

For air travel, snow isn’t the only problem that prevents planes from landing as wind and heavy rain bomb airports.

“We’ve projected the risk of delays and cancellations for more than 5,000 flights each day over the next few days,” Porter said, adding, “It’s not just some parts of the country. These are Chicago, Detroit, and others around the world.” Big hub. East coast.”

A total of 6,454 flights inside and outside the United States had been canceled or delayed as of 2 p.m. ET Thursday, according to FlightAware.

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 22: Travelers wait for flights at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois on December 22, 2022. The winter weather system, which brings snow, high winds and subzero temperatures, is a year-round for airlines. It wreaked havoc on one of our busiest days, vacation travel. As of 8am, more than 500 of his flights out of Chicago have been cancelled.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Travelers wait for their flight at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois on December 22, 2022. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Travel remains a major concern, but if a storm hits the power grid, as it did when a historic cold snap rocked Texas operators and millions of residents in early 2021, it could slow down economic activity. It can be even more confusing.

“Another thing we’re monitoring very closely is the state of the Texas grid and the risk of blackouts there. When Dallas temperatures are in the single digits, it’s always a concern,” Porter said. I got

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday reassured the Texans that the power grid could withstand the coming storm.

AccuWeather’s Porter also noted that this year’s winter cyclone won’t last as long as the 2021 storm.

“It will be cold in many places, especially in the south of the country. [but] When we get back to Christmas Day and the period after Christmas, we start to recover,” he said.

Still, Porter warned, “These are some of the most significant temperature drops people could experience in their lifetimes.”

Grace is an editor at Yahoo Finance.

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